The downward spiral of hasty population growth

August 14, 2010 • Daily Email Recap

Many thanks to Mark O’Connor for this brilliant piece by University of Queensland’s Jane O’Sullivan. As Mark said, “Many of its points apply equally to other nations that set out towards high population growth, including Canada, the USA and the UK. It also complements and fleshes out Joseph Chamie’s recent piece on Ponzi demography.” Mark has highlighted in bold print some of Jane O’Sullivan’s most striking conclusions (mainly in the second half of the piece).

Charles Berger’s valuable piece “If Norway can prosper with a stable population, why can’t Australia?” (On Line Opinion, February 22, 2010) highlighted the lack of evidence supporting the supposition that population growth stimulates economic prosperity. He revealed that no correlation exists between population growth rate and per capita GDP growth among OECD countries. The 2010 Intergenerational Report (PDF 1.02MB) contrived to imply such a correlation by selecting only the “basket cases” of Japan and Italy to compare with Australia. Why not contrast ourselves with Norway or Slovenia, he asked.

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